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Fire destroys home of longtime Prince collaborator Morris Hayes

The blaze leveled the musician's Arkansas house, and his home studio.
Fire destroys home and studio of Prince backing musician Morris Hayes.

One of Prince's close musical associates is reeling after a house fire that left his in-home studio and memorabilia collection decimated. 

Morris Hayes, who serves as keyboardist and musical director of the New Power Generation (or NPG, Prince's backing band for over 20 years), posted pictures of the damage on Facebook this week: 

The fire occurred a few days earlier at his home in Arkansas while he was in Minneapolis for a gig with NPG, according to the post.

A news release from NPG says that "most likely much of his personal memorabilia" was also lost.

On Thursday, bandmates set up a GoFundMe campaign to help Hayes "bring the funk back." It's raised nearly $23,000 so far — just a couple thousand shy of its goal.

Though the GoFundMe notes that Hayes "lost all his possessions," he seems to be taking things in stride; he's quoted as saying “it could have been worse," since "people might be talking about me today in the past tense, about what a nice guy I was.”

The release says it's "too early to know the source of the fire."

According to the official NPG site, Hayes first started backing Prince on the Diamonds & Pearls tour in 1992. 

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